On 4 July, the start in Łódź, begins the 23rd edition of the International Cycling Race of Solidarity and the Olympics (cat.2.1 UCI). For four days of competing the riders are going to fight for the final victory at the finishing line in Jarosław, as well as for points for the general classification of BGŻ ProLiga.
This year’s edition of the race consists of six stages during which the riders are going to ride the total distance of almost 900 kilometres. The first three stages, located on courses around Łódź, lead in a relatively flat area, and they are definitely stages for sprint riders. The first mountains will to appear in the stage from Tomaszów Mazowiecki to Kielce. The cyclists will ride into the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, and there there will be the first quite difficult uphill stretches in Krajno, where the first climbs are situated. The next stage from Nowy Sącz to Krosno is also quite a challenge for the riders, because during that stage the riders are supposed to pass as many as five climbs riding among others twice the uphill stretch to the Kamieniec castle. In the last, sixth stage, there will also be three climbs: in Gwoździanka, Barycz and Szklary, and after passing them the riders will finish at the finishing line in Jarosław, where the winner of the whole race will emerge.
In the race of Solidarity and the Olympics 21 cycling teams are going to take part, with line-ups of six riders, among them there will be all Polish professional teams: BDC MarcPol, BGŻ Team, CCC Polsat Polkowice and Wibatech. Participation in the race has been declared by, among others, foreign teams from Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Russia, Italy and Morocco as well. At the starting line in Łódź there will be, among others, the team of Christina Watches with the leader Stefan Schumacher and Angelo Furlan, the team of Adria Mobil with Marco Kump, the NetApp team in whose colours the former CCC rider, Andre Schulze will race, as well as, with very strong compositions the team of Whirlpool-Author with Thomas Buchacek and Dukla Trenczyn.
The sporting director of CCC Polsat Polkowice, Piotr Wadecki has appointed for the line-up of the team for that race the following riders: Marek Rutkiewicz (the leader of the general classification of BGŻ ProLiga), Piotr Gawroński, Sylwester Janiszewski, Adrian Honkisz, Łukasz Owsian and Grzegorz Stępniak.
The programme of the race:
4.07, stage 1, Łódź – Bełchatów (76.2 km)
4.07, stage 2, Tuszyn – Sieradz (140.8 km)
5.07, stage 3, Łęczyca – Kutno (167.6 km);
6.07, stage 4, Tomaszów Maz. – Kielce (158.4 km)
7.07, stage 5, Nowy Sącz – Krosno (186.5 km)
8.07, stage 6, Jasło – Jarosław (165.2 km)